CIS women’s basketball Saturday roundup: UBC, Windsor, McGIll claim conference titles

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Mar 07, 2015

Photo credit Emery G. Photography

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UQAM 51 McGill 53 Final Box Score
RSEQ Final

Source: Earl Zukerman, McGill Sports Info

LENNOXVILLE, Que. — Game MVP Mariam Sylla registered a “double-double” and knocked down the winning basket in the dying seconds as McGill rallied for a thrilling 53-51 victory over the UQAM Citadins before a crowd of 514 at the Mitchell gym on Saturday afternoon, to capture the RSEQ women’s basketball championship for the fourth consecutive year, the second straight against UQAM.

The Martlets advance to the CIS Final Eight for the ninth time in school history and will join host Laval at natonal championship in Quebec City, March 12-15.

In a thriller that featured 15 lead changes, Sylla showed her mettle at crunch time. The 6-foot-1 forward from Conakry, Guinea, drained the winning basket on a lay-up with 26 seconds remaining to make it 52-51, then added a free-throw with two seconds left to finish with a game and season-high 25 points to go along with 14 rebounds.

“It was pressure time but I knew that I could dominate inside,” admitted Sylla, named conference player of the year in each of the last two seasons. “That’s a moment that every player lives for and I was very excited to help my team at that moment.”

She played a game-high 38 minutes, shot a sizzling 8-for-16 from the floor and dropped an impressive nine of 11 shots from the foul-line. It was her 12th double-double in 28 games overall, her fourth in the last five outings, and was also credited with a pair of steals in the contest.

McGill, which led 18-9 early in the second quarter, found themselves on the wrong side of a 46-41 score with 6:22 remaining in the contest before Sylla took over and poured in eight of her team’s final 12 points down the stretch. She tied the game at 47-47 with 4:53 remaining and put McGill ahead 50-49 on a three-point play with 2:58 left.

But UQAM regained the lead at 51-50 when Jessica Lubin hit a jumper with 36 seconds remaining. Sylla, however, answered back.

“Actually the play was to for me to look inside because they were having trouble defending me there throughout the game,” said the 22-year-old pharmacology junior who was honoured last fall by Governor-General David Johnston for being among the CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadians.

“If they double-teamed me, I was supposed to kick it outside to a shooter like Caro (Cloutier) or Dianna (Ros) but they didn’t defend me the way they did earlier, so I was wide open and just went for a lay-up,” said Sylla.

McGill led 12-9 after the first quarter and 27-24 at halftime but the Citadins outscored the Martlets 14-10 in the third stanza before McGill rebounds with a 16-13 margin in the final quarter.

“We went to our player of the year (when the game was on the line),” said McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “The month of March is about players, it’s not about coaching. They know what to do and we went to a play that we usually run.

Alex Kiss-Rusk, a 6-foot-4 starting forward for McGill, left the game after only eight minutes with an apparent ankle sprain and did not return, which forced McGill head coach Ryan Thorne to change his game plan somewhat and he kept Sylla on the floor for all but a two-minute respite.

“With Alex going down, it changed the complexion of the game, changed where our strength probably was in the front court and the ability to keep just banging it inside,” said McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “Their guards were amazing for UQAM, they put a lot off pressure on us which made it tough to make some entry passes but (our) girls grinded it out, believed in each other… They said that it was never over, even though we were down by about five or six late in the game and they fought to come back… We made some mistakes and I wasn’t happy with our game overall but wasvery proud that we kept fighting and never gave up.”

McGill’s bench outscored UQAM’s subs 13-7 but other than that, there wasn’t much to choose from between the two Montreal-based rivals, with McGill holding a 43-41 edge in rebounds, a 10-9 margin in steals and a 3-1 advantage in blocked shots. The Martlets shot 33.3 per cent from the field (19/57), made only one of 15 attempts from three-point range and went 14-for-21 from the line), compared to UQAM, which shot 34.4 (21/61), made one of 10 treys and sunk eight of 15 free-throws.

Gabriela Hebert added nine points and six rebounds for the Martlets, who also had a nine-point outing from Marika Guerin off the bench. Point-guard Dianna Ros had a solid all-round game, cointributing four points, a pair of rebounds, a game-high seven assists and three steals.

Lorna Desrameaux-Simon led the Citadins with 19 points and six rebounds to merit player-of-the-game honours for her side.Teammates Sarah Cabana and Queteline Celestin added nine and eight points, respectively. The aforementioned Lubin had six points and half a dozen rebounds.

Only 33 personal fouls were called in a contest that could have easily had double that amount.

“It was very physical and that’s one of the things that concerns me about the RSEQ conference,” said Thorne. “We allow too much physicality and I don’t think it sets us up very well for when we play at Nationals, where all of a sudden, everything is a touch foul. (The referees) called it one way early, then they stopped calling that type of game. Our opponents understood that and that’s why they left their player in with three early fouls… That part was a little disappointing but I was very happy that we pulled it out at the end.”

MARTLET MURMURS: McGill is bidding to become the first Quebec-based team to win the CIS banner since Bishop’s went back-to-back in 1983 and 1984… The Martlets are 7-13 lifetime in their previous eight appearances at the CIS tournament… Their only medal was a bronze in 1996, when the tourney was also held in Quebec City.

Ryerson 51 Windsor 71 Final Box Score | Recap
OUA Final

Source: WIndsor Sports Info

WINDSOR, Ont. – For the third consecutive year, and sixth time in seven seasons, the OUA championship banner will hang in the rafters of the St. Denis Centre as the Windsor Lancers are champions once again.

The Lancers defeated the Ryerson Rams in front of a packed and frenzied home crowd by a score of 71-51 on Saturday night.

The first quarter was dominated by OUA Defensive Player of the Year, and the Lancers leading scorer, Korissa Williams, who scored 12 of her 18 points in the opening frame. For the game, Williams tied for the Lancers lead with 18 points, and led all players with 10 assists and six steals.

Trailing 23-16 into the second quarter, the Rams looked overwhelmed at times in trying to deal with the Lancers ball movement and defence, allowing Windsor a 10-2 run in the quarter to go ahead 35-25 after Ryerson had narrowed the score to 25-23.

By the time the second-quarter buzzer sounded, Ryerson found itself dug into a 42-29 hole and could not recover from the 13-point deficit.

To the Lancers credit, they made sure not to take their foot off the gas pedal, outscoring Ryerson 20-8 in the third quarter, led by Porter Airlines Player of the Game Emiy Prevost who scored eight of her 18 points in the third frame. Prevost was a force to be reckoned with all game, cleaning up the glass with a game-high 11 rebounds, while adding two blocks and three steals.

With a 62-37 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Lancers turned the final frame into a formality, and despite being outscored 14-9, it was not enough for Ryerson who was denied their first ever OUA championship.

Both teams will now prepare for the CIS Final 8 national championship tournament beginning March 12 in Quebec City, hosted by the Laval Rouge et Or.

For Windsor, it will be an opportunity to make history and become just the second team to win five consecutive national titles, something that has only been accomplished by the mid-70s Laurentian Voyageurs dynasty.

“I am so tremendously proud of this group of individuals who pushed through this championship weekend,” said Lancers head coach Chantal Vallee. “It is a tremendous rehearsal for Quebec City and it’s only a part of the journey. We look forward to being there and to continue climbing our mountain.”

The Rams will have the opportunity for redemption in La Belle Province, as they also receive one of OUA’s berths in the CIS tournament.

“We’ll take this as a learning experience and this is the stage that we’re going to be playing on for three games (at the CIS Final 8),” said Rams head coach Carly Clarke. “We still have to be incredibly proud of being second in the OUA. That’s a pretty great accomplishment for this season and something we hope to build on next week.”

The Rams won an OUA medal for the first time in program history, and ranked No. 7 in the CIS Top 10 are still a team to look out for at the national championships.

Ryerson guard Keneca Pingue-Giles led all players with 24 points in the loss; Silvana Jez was the only other Ram to score in double digits with 10 points.

Windsor dominated down low, outscoring Ryerson 48-12 in the paint, and out-rebounded their opponent 42-32. Ryerson led only once in the game, and that came very early in the first quarter.

Victoria 74 Alberta 78 Final Box Score | Recap
Canada West Bronze

Source: Ali Lee, Victoria Vikes Communications

VANCOUVER – Fifth year Sally Hillier’s three-pointer was the nail in the coffin for the University of Alberta Pandas who put away the Victoria Vikes, 78-74, in a thrilling Canada West bronze-medal match up on Mar. 7 at UBC’s War Memorial Gym in Vancouver.

The Pandas were led by the senior trio of Saskia van Ginhoven, Megan Vande Kraats and Hillier. Van Ginhoven totaled 20 points and nine rebounds while going 8-for-9 from the line. Vande Kraats had the game’s only double-double finishing with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Hillier added 14 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc. The Pandas led for over 35 minutes of the game, while shooting 47 per cent from the field.

Despite the loss Victoria put up a valiant second half thanks to the leadership of fifth years Jessica Renfrew and Cassandra Goodis. Forward Renfrew led with 26 points and seven steals, while point guard Goodis put away 17 points and logged an impressive 10 assists. Goodis also nailed three of six three-point attempts, while Canada West Rookie of the Year Amira Giannattasio chipped in with 16 points.

“That’s a quality team we were playing,” said Alberta head coach Scott Edwards. “Victoria’s obviously really talented, and they shoot the three really well. If you give them that opportunity they’ll knock it down.”

It was an even opening quarter that saw Victoria’s Renfrew and Giannattasio tally six and five points, respectively. Alberta showed their depth in scoring as four players finished with four points each and six-foot-three forward Vande Kraats picked up six rebounds. The Pandas led 22-18 entering the second.

Eight points from guard Megan Wickstrom powered the Pandas to out-score Victoria 23-13 in the second quarter. Wickstrom’s two three-point shots pushed Alberta up 45-31 entering half time, while Victoria’s Renfrew added another five points to her total.

In the third quarter it was all Victoria, and more specifically Renfrew, as the Vikes out-scored Alberta 17-10 thanks to 10 points from the Claremont graduate. Three different Victoria players hit outside shots, while van Ginhoven scored eight of the Pandas’ 10 points. Alberta led just 59-55 entering the fourth quarter despite Victoria getting as close to a one-point deficit in the game.

The final 10 minutes were fast and furious as early on both teams found success on their opening possessions. Giannattasio opened for the Vikes dropping a long bomb, while Hillier was the distance responder for Alberta. Each team secured 19 points in the quarter, while the final four minutes were a thriller.

“You can draw everything you want, but the athletes have to go out there and do it – players have to make plays,” said Edwards. “Sally hits a big three out of the corner which gets us the win really. I’m proud of the way we executed in the last three minutes – we did a great job to finish that game off.”

Following a three and an immediate layup from Renfrew the game was squared 64-64. Alberta’s Hillier put in a three that kept Alberta at the forefront, while Giannattasio put four quick points on the board for Victoria to cut Alberta’s lead back to one, 69-68. Bugiardini put two in from the line to boost the Vikes 72-71 with 40 seconds on the clock but back the other way Hillier put in the shot that secured the bronze medal for Alberta. The fifth-year Surrey, B.C. native’s baseline bomb put the Pandas back in the driver’s seat, while two more free throws made from Van Ginhoven was just a twist of the dagger.

A huge block from Van de Kraats on a fast-break opportunity for Goodis got the travelling contingent of Alberta fans off their feet, as Alberta held on for a 78-74 final score. With the win Alberta secures the Canada West bronze medal to end their season.

This marks the end of CIS basketball for Vikes fifth years Goodis and Renfrew, while the Pandas graduate van Ginhoven, Hillier and Vande Kraats.

Saskatchewan 68 UBC 69 Final Box Score | Recap
Canada West Final

Source: UBC Sports Info

VANCOUVER — The Canada West MVP was just that Saturday night as Kris Young scored the winning basket with 7.8 seconds remaining to help the UBC Thunderbirds to a come-from-behind 69-68 victory over the Saskatchewan Huskies and the 2015 Canada West Championship title.

Young scored 13 of her 21 points in the final frame to carry the Thunderbirds to their eighth conference championship in the program’s history and first since 2012.

Trailing the majority of the night, the Thunderbirds went down 63-59 with 3:23 after Laura Dally hit a three pointer. Young would cut the lead to one, before Riley Humbert hit from beyond the arc to restore the Huskies four-point lead with 1:36 left in the game, 66-62.

After Harleen Sidhu and Dally traded baskets, Adrienne Parkin nailed a three pointer with 17 seconds left to make it a one point game, 68-67.

On the ensuing inbounds play, the Thunderbirds fouled Kelsey Trulsrud with 15 seconds left. She missed both free throws. Young grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast, hitting a runner off the glass and in to put UBC in front 69-68 with 7.8 seconds remaining.

Saskatchewan did not have a timeout left and was forced to play on Dally carried the ball the length of the floor and got it down low to Dalyce Emmerson, but she could not get a shot off in time and UBC prevailed 69-68.

Young finished with 21 points, eight rebound, six assists, three blocks and three steals playing the entire 40 minutes.

Saskatchewan got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 15-4 lead. Trulsrud led the way early on with four points. UBC managed to cut the deficit to seven points after 10 minutes of play thanks to some strong play from Harleen Sidhu, who chipped in with six points in the opening quarter. The Huskies led 20-13 after the first quarter.

The Huskies continued to add to their lead in the second quarter thanks in large part to some excellent outside shooting. Saskatchewan hit four three pointers in the quarter, two from Dally, one from Riley Humbert and one from Desare Hogberg to lead 41-30 at the half.

In the second half, the lead got to as many as 13 points for the Huskies, however, UBC would slowly chip away. In fact they went on a 17-3 run to take their first lead of the game with 2:14 left in the third quarter as Harleen Sidhu hit the go ahead basket. That lead wouldn’t last as the Huskies restored order and led by two after three quarters of play, 49-47.

In the fourth quarter the Huskies once again extended the lead to as many as six points. Emmerson hit and hoop and a harm and Trulsrud scored on back to back lay ups to put the visitors in front 55-49 with 8:06 remaining in the fourth quarter. That is when Young went to work, scoring 10 of UBC’s next 12 points to make it one point game 63-62 for Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan finished the night shooting 42.6 per cent from the field and 9-of-19 from beyond the arc. UBC shot 45.3 per cent from the field, but once again it was its stifling defence in the second half that made the difference, limiting the Huskies to just 28 points in the final two quarters after giving up 40 in the first half. The Thunderbirds forced 15 turnovers compared to just six of their own.

Dally led the Huskies with 21 points including four three pointers. Emmerson finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds, while Trulsrud chipped in with 15 points and 12 boards.

Sidhu scored 18 points for the Thunderbirds, while Diana Lee also hit double digits, scoring 10 points on the night.

Both teams will now make the trip to the CIS Final 8 in Quebec City, which begins Thursday, March 12. The complete schedule and seedings will be released Monday.

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